Common questions


We at Express Softeners appreciate that for most people this can be a wholly new venture. Relax, we’ve got it covered. Below, we’ve compiled some of the most common questions we have encountered installing Water Softeners around Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond and Hampton. If you can’t find your query below then please feel free to call us. Our trained experts are on hand to offer free, robust advice, with no pressure to buy.


Can I take a water softener with me when I move?

Most certainly – this is possible with modern softeners. Installation techniques involve quick fitting connections, similar to those used with washing machines. To pack up your magical soft water box, simply close off the inlet and outlet valves to the softener and open up the bypass valve, allowing hard water to flow to the storage tank and household taps. The softener can then be disconnected, moved to its new home and re-plumbed as necessary. Simplicity itself!


What are the running costs of a water softener?

water-softeners-Teddington-faqThis is where that all important return on investment can shine most. However, types of water softeners are many and various. Time operated softeners are perhaps the least efficient. It is meter controlled units that produce the most softened water, per pound of salt. Some softeners also use electricity, while more recent equipment uses water power. Running costs are also closely related to the hardness of the local water supply and the amount of softener water used. Very hard water will make more demand on a softener and higher running costs will unfortunately be the result. If water is used lavishly, costs will also rise marginally. Generally, costs can vary between 15p and 30p per day. Time and time again, however, running costs pale in the sheer enormity of the advantages of softened water.


Can I use softened water in my aquarium?

The simple answer here is ‘gently does it’! Softened water is satisfactory for most fish and should not have any undesirable or toxic affect on the aquarium. When changing the water, it is always advisable to do so gradually. This is important so as not to disturb or unbalance the aquarium’s environment. Temperature and pH of the water is critical to some tropical fish and any drastic change could result in fatalities. The change from hard water to softened should be undertaken over a month or so, replacing only about 25% of the aquarium’s capacity at any one time.

How much soap and detergent should be used with softened water?

Remember; a little dab will do you. In a washing machine it may be possible to use only a heaped tablespoonful of washing powder for a full, lightly soiled load. You may only need a teaspoonful for a hand-wash. The best way is to get stuck in and experiment – time will tell which balance suits your individual home, lifestyle and routines the best.

Can I use softened water in my steam iron or car battery?

This is a no no. It may come as a shocker but distilled or demineralised water is the only satisfactory water for use in this type of equipment. Neither hard nor softened water has all the minerals removed. Therefore they should not be used in steam irons or car batteries.


Is softened water safe to drink?

Absolutely. Though healthy minerals come mostly from food in a balanced diet. Neither hard nor soft water can provide a significant proportion of our daily need for minerals. Although we use low sodium milk powders when feeding our babies, it is advisable that (as softened water can contain up to 300mg/l of sodium) hard water only should be used when making up powdered milk for baby feeds.


Will softened water help dry skin conditions, such as eczema?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that sufferers of conditions such as dry skin, eczema and psoriasis can notice life-changing benefits from the use of softened water. Though the complexity of eczema makes it impossible to quantify why softened water helps, successful reports suggest the following:

  • Cleaner bubbles – water softeners eliminate scummy soap curd resulting in a cleaner lather which is kind to skin, reducing dryness and itching.
  • Less chemical soaps – with softened water, the amount of soap used when washing clothes is reduced. Also, pure soap products can be used with softened water instead of detergents.


Should softened water be used for watering indoor plants?

When it comes to your green fingers, don’t be soft. When using hard or soft water to water houseplants, it should be remembered that both contain minerals which will be deposited in the soil. If allowed to accumulate, plant growth will not necessarily be sustained. Rain, distilled or deionised water is preferable. Hard water is the second choice and softened water sadly falls into last place. Watering the garden with softened water can be very wasteful, unnecessary and expensive. To avoid this, simply leave your outdoor tap hooked up to the regular supply.


How much money am I likely to save with softened water?

Water softeners tend to surprise people over the long-term, because the immediate savings are disparate and varied. Despite that, you can expect to notice a concrete payback after 2 years.


Will softening drinking water deprive my family of essential minerals?

water-softeners-Twickenham-faqSteady on there partner, there’s no reason why your family shouldn’t get most of their minerals from food. Only a very small amount is absorbed from the water we drink. Most portable water supplies whether hard or soft are unable to supply all the minerals we need. A single pint of milk can supply the mineral equivalent of 3 gallons of drinking water. So, if you’re worried about your family’s minerals, simply use the savings that softened water can provide to snap up a few more deals on healthy foods at your local supermarket.

Can a water softener drain into a septic tank?

You bet. Regeneration waste water for a water softener will have no adverse effect on a septic tank, provided both are the right size for the number of people in the family. Softened water can help reduce the amount of detergent discharged into a septic tank, making for a happier, healthier tank.


Do water softeners work with combi boilers and pressurised systems?

Yes, the Dualflo range has a high flow rate and is designed to work effectively with both the traditional and the more modern, direct feed mains systems. So, we advise to stick with that brand.



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